Hungary. You don't skip a visit to Kreinbacher Estate winery
When one thinks about the most modern (or one of the most modern) wineries in Hungary, one word pops up – Kreinbacher winery. When one thinks about outstanding sparkling wine made in the methode traditionelle(like champagne) – there's Kreinbacher again. And again, when one thinks of a beautiful place to stay close to Balaton – it is Kreinbacher. And on top of that three-tier cake, there is one more thing about Kreinbacher Estate – beautiful and fantastic food.
Balaton region is one of the top regions to head for an out-of-Budapest destination. The huge sea-like lake and beaches make perfect sense to travel there until you realize that the beaches are crowded and the places to stay are not up to what you have paid for. So, to avoid that, there's a solution – a 40-minute drive Kreinbacher.
You have to keep in mind that Kreinbacher wouldn't be Kreinbacher without its pride and glory – the wine and winery in the heart of the Somlo region. The winery looks like a spaceship and is an extraordinary example of blending landscape with buildings in the best possible way. There are so many small details in the exterior and interior of the building that there is no question contractors will remember building this winery to their last breath, the same as wine lovers will remember their first sip of Kreinbacher brut. By the way, the same day we enjoyed our first sip of the beautiful brut sparkling wine, it got the Decanter Wine World Awards gold medal.
A fact to remember is that Somlo is the first region, thanks to the Kreinbacher initiative, to go all organic. Not just the winery, but the while region, hopefully setting an example for others. At this point, the Kreinbacher winery is not too big or small cultivating grapes from 40 ha in the region and 20 ha outside (mainly for sparkling wine). Their Furmint, Juhfark, and Hárslevelű wines are outstanding, just as is the Syrah.
To fully enjoy the estate, come early, settle into your hotel room, and take the time to enjoy the moment on the terrace. Go for a light lunch (and believe me, it is amazing) starting it with nothing other than gold medal winner Kreinbacher Estate Brut or, if you prefer, some extra brut or brut nature sparkling. The food, made by chef Gabor Langer, is worth every bite as he is trying to marry local ingredients, classic recipes, and modern techniques in the best possible way. Don't forget to take a long walk up the hill after lunch (as the dinner is as great as the lunch) and it is the most beautiful moment of the day when all you have to think about is what to eat and drink. Waking up the next morning, don't run to breakfast right away: sit down on your terrace, inhale the morning air, and only then head to the restaurant to enjoy the breakfast. With a glass of bubbly.
Our favourite wines:
Kreinbacher extra brut
Kreinbacher rose brut
8481 Somlóvásárhely, Somlóhegy 1674 hrsz, Hungary
Story and pictures: Signe Meirane
Camera: Sony Alpha 7s